April 30, 2012
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AUBURN - The No. 4-ranked Auburn women's golf team received a bid to the NCAA Central Regional Championship, which will be held May 10-12 at The Ohio State University Golf Club - Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio, the NCAA Women's Golf Championship Committee announced Monday.
The Tigers are one of 72 teams that were selected to the NCAA Regional field with 24 competing at each site. The East Regional will take place at the Penn State Golf Course, Blue Course, in State College, Pa., while the West Regional will take place at Colorado National Golf Club in Erie, Colo.
Auburn enters the Central Regional as the No. 2 seed, following top-seed Southern California. The Tigers are one of seven SEC teams in the field, joining Georgia, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Kentucky. In all, 11 of the 12 SEC teams made the NCAA Regional field with Alabama, Florida and South Carolina in the East, and LSU in the West.
"We are excited to get to go play in the Central Regional at the Scarlet Course there at Ohio State, it is a true championship course," said Auburn head coach Kim Evans. "Just looking at the region, it is very tough. There are several teams from the east that we are very familiar with. Then you add in USC, who is the top team in the country, with Georgia and Vanderbilt, and that is just the top four. We have our work cut out for us, we are ready."
The Tigers are one of nine teams in the field ranked in the Golfweek Magazine top-25. Others are: No. 1 Southern California, No. 10 Georgia, No. 12 Vanderbilt, No. 15 Tennessee, No. 19 Ohio State, No. 22 Oregon, No. 24 North Carolina State and No. 25 Florida State.
Making up the rest of the field are Virginia, Purdue, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Texas State, South Florida, Notre Dame, Texas-San Antonio, East Carolina, Michigan, North Carolina-Wilmington, Harvard, Butler and Siena.
Madeleine Shiels (Nebraska), Alex Buelow (Stetson), Rika Park (Miami (Fla.)), Brittany Henderson (Costal Carolina), Leticia Ras-Anderica, (Miami (Fla.)) and Gabriella Wahl (East Tennessee State) will compete individually.
Auburn is coming of its ninth Southeastern Conference title in the program's history and the eighth for Evans. It is the second SEC title in a row for the Tigers and third in the last four years. Auburn won two tournament titles this season and has had four individual winners in Marta Sanz, Victoria Trapani, Carlie Yadloczky and SEC Champion Patricia Sanz.
"We have been working hard all spring," said Evans. "We had a great fall and a great first tournament of the spring, but then we did not hit our mark for a few tournaments. Even through all that, we kept improving and really put it together at SECs. We played a difficult course in extreme conditions and still played pretty solid. I feel pretty good about where we are right now."
The Tigers have competed in 18 NCAA Regional Tournaments with five of them being in the Central Regional. Auburn has finished in the top eight, earning a NCAA Championship bid, in 13 of the 18 appearances.
This is Auburn's second post-season appearance at Ohio State's Scarlet Course. Auburn played the course in the 2000 Central Regional, tying for seventh with a 907. Celeste Troche was the top finisher for the Tigers, taking third place. The Tigers then played the course at the 2006 NCAA Championship, finishing 12th with a four-round total of 1,208. Abigail Schepperle was the top Tiger that time out, tying for 21st.
"It is just a good course, we have played it a few times before," said Evans. "They have made a few changes to the course, and it is just an incredible golf course, a championship course. It is going to play tough and Ohio State will put on a great event, we are excited to go."
A total of 378 participants have been selected for regional competition. Of these players, 126 will advance to the championships finals. Eight teams and two individuals will advance from each regional.
The championships finals will be held May 22-25 at the Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn., and will be hosted by Vanderbilt University.
For live coverage of the Central Regional please visit www.GolfStat.com or follow daily updates of the Tigers on www.AuburnTigers.com.
Central Regional Teams
Conference automatic qualifiers are indicated in parenthesis next to the institution.
1. Southern California
2. Auburn (Southeastern)
6. Ohio State
8. North Carolina State
10. Florida State
13. Ole Miss
15. Texas State
16. South Florida (Big East)
17. Notre Dame
18. Texas-San Antonio (Southland)
19. East carolina
21. North Carolina-Wilmington (Colonial)
22. Harvard (Ivy)
23. Butler (Horizon)
24. Siena (MAAC)
1. Madeleine Shiels, Nebraska
2. Alex Buelow, Stetson
3. Rika Park, Miami (Fla.)
4. Brittany Henderson, Costal Carolina
5. Leticia Ras-Anderica, Miami (Fla.)
6. Gabriella Wahl, East Tennessee State